Luxury Knightbridge one bedroom £5.2m flat repossessed

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The UK's swankiest block of apartments - complete with bomb-proof windows and iris recognition security - has had its first eviction.

Property developer Ray Grehan, whom the FT claims is a bankrupt Irish property developer, previously owned the one bedroom flat - previously valued at £5.25m - at prestigious One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge. Are luxury repossessions on the rise?

Loves to hate

Mayfair property expert Peter Wetherell told the Mail luxury repossessions were currently uncommon. "Most of the properties at the top end of the market are cash deals, but for their own personal financing reasons [owners] will gear it up [take out a mortgage on it]," he said.

He went on: "One Hyde Park is an example of the building everyone loves to hate, but it redefined the word luxury in central London property and it's been a resounding success story."

Not a success

But it depends on who you talk to. Tracey Kellett, director of BDI Homefinders, strongly disagrees that the super-lux property development has been a success; some of the flats in the complex have sold for up to £140m (though Grehan's ex flat is now on the market for £5.2m).

"I'd go so far as to say it's the worst investment anyone could have made in prime central London," she told the Independent. "It's on the market for much the same as when it was first offered, but since 2009 the prime central London market has grown in the region of 55%, so it can't be anything other than a bad investment."

One London property expert who didn't want to be named told AOL Money that "One Hyde Park is not the success many would like to think it is. It was overpriced in the beginning. Really horrible. The most disappointing development in several years."

House photos guaranteed to put buyers off

House photos guaranteed to put buyers off

Discreet

There's little data on repossessions at the top end generally; property specialists dealing in this market generally are reluctant to talk about the subject. But clearly some owners are feeling the pinch, even with interest rates at rock-bottom levels.

At the other end of the market as far as London is concerned, Barking and Dagenham and Newham have, in the past, endured the most repossessions, according to Shelter. According to Government statistics, UK repossessions peaked in 2009 at 69,500 compared to 48,500 in 2012.




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